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steve roberts

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Everything posted by steve roberts

  1. Swindon Stadium

    I was talking to a group from Swindon (non speedway fans) yesterday who gave me an update regarding the new stadium at Swindon. Apparently the old stadium is about to be demolished but it's not clear when work starts on the replacement one? I hope that this doesn't turn into another Reading based on false hopes. Anybody any news (I can't find any reliable information) as Blunsdon holds many memories for yours truly?

    ...Ice Hockey, to the best of my knowledge, is an exception to the rule regarding 'team sports' whereby the full 60 minutes are played (3 periods of 20 minutes). When the puck is not in play the clock stops if my memory serves having followed the sport extensively during the eighties.
  3. OAP concessions, why?

    ...I have just lost a working colleague thru' cancer and he was in his early/middle thirties.
  4. Farewell Brandon - A Video Fly By

    ...unfortunately the same thing is happening at Cowley and when I once put the question to the then owners was told that it wasn't true. Last time I looked in at the stadium it was in a terrible state and despite all the good efforts I can't see the facility remaining for much longer.
  5. So where did it all go wrong?

    Good old Kojak...remember him well!
  6. OAP concessions, why?

    ...trouble is SCB has a fixation about ageism and raises the issue over and over again. Gets a bit tiresome after awhile.
  7. So where did it all go wrong?

    ...remember talking to the late Bernard Crapper about the times he would appear to 'rant and rave' at the referee whilst on the phone at the starting gate. He explained to me that often he was just passing the time of day with the referee but felt the need to liven up proceedings just to get the crowd excitable.

    Local derbies generally where once upon a time there were the likes of Oxford/Swindon/Reading, Wimbledon/Hackney/White City, Coventry/Leicester, King's Lynn/Ipswich, Belle Vue/Halifax, Boston/Peterborough, Poole/Exeter etc etc. Nothing quite built up an atmosphere like a local derby.

    ...seem to recall Oxford had a similar pricing structure in 1972 but the programme cost 8p if I remember.

    As Billy Connolly once quoted it's not whether things were better or worse it's just that one is trying to re-capture one's youth and how one remembers it.
  11. The first Pole to race in Britain

    Interesting interview with Zenon Plech (Backtrack 2012) who stated "Even with crowds of 10,000 for league matches, it doesn't cover all the money they are paying out to the riders. And if sponsors pull out..." Whether that still applies now I'll leave those familiar with knowledge of the present climate to comment.
  12. Memories good and bad.!!

    ...I must admit my heart was in my mouth awaiting the referee's decision! However my view (and it's biased of course) was that Tommy Knudsen was guilty of taking another 'square bend' as he was apt to to do and as he attempted to correct himself Hans had filled the gap. There was often tension between Nielsen and Knudsen when they met with their respective teams and both were guilty of taking each other to the fence so swings and roundabouts as far as I'm concerned.
  13. Memories good and bad.!!

    Another good thread Sid! Best memories? 1. My very first meeting at Cowley (1972 vs. Coventry) 2. White City winning at Wolves in 1977 thereby winning the league. 3. Oxford vs. Ipswich (KOC Final Second Leg). Best ever meeting at Cowley during my time in my opinion. 4. Hans Nielsen winning the World Championship in 1986 at Katowice...I was there! 5. Oxford hammering the enemy (Swindon 'Budgies') at 'The Abbey' in 1986. Worse memories? 1. Any deaths at speedway (thankfully I was never present at any meeting when a rider was killed) but they all left a profound effect on me. 2. Travelling a great distance to be met with a postponement announcement. 3. The demise of the second half...used to have some great second halves at Cowley during 'The Rebels' era. 4. The closure of White City and Oxford as speedway venues. 5. Seeing the sport decline in popularity and I can't see it being reversed.
  14. Jimmy Beaton.

    Thanks for that...I did wonder.
  15. Jimmy Beaton.

    Sad news indeed. A rider who returned to the sport after a serious injury threatened to finish his career.

    ...however it attracted fans in their thousands so obviously something was right with the product. With all of today's state of the art media opportunities the same can not be said of today. We all have our own views and opinions for the reason why...well documented over and over but it appears that people are no longer excited by the thought of four motorbikes circumnavigating an oval track like they used to be.

    Certainly wasn't rubbish. I went and for atmosphere it took some beating...which is one of the main ingredients for a speedway meeting. Certainly compared with Cardiff when I went some years back.
  18. Norwich Stars Remembered

    I recently obtained an Oxford Utd programme from the early seventies for my brother and it also carried an advert for a forthcoming speedway meeting at Cowley.
  19. George White rip

    I remember there was talk of him making a comeback during the early seventies...had a feeling that he had a practice spin in the car park? RIP
  20. Odd Fossengen R.I.P

    Remember him well. RIP
  21. Norwich Stars Remembered

    Another track I would have liked to have visited.
  22. The C word ( chaos )

    Never implied that in my posts.
  23. The C word ( chaos )

    ...with respect I go back to 1972 just prior to the four valve revolution which, in itself, caused suspicion but I saw the development of the silencers and all that caused with riders threatening to pull out of meetings and some not conforming with the requirements. I remember meetings at White City that were threatened due to protests flying around. I recall the 1981 Spring Classic Meeting at Wimbledon (it was televised if I remember?) when there was a dispute over Ole Olsen's either silencer or tyre and the result was changed and re-declared and then later again well into the season. Ellesmere Port had a result changed well into the off season (1985) after a meeting that had taken place much earlier in the year over a tyre issue. These are just two examples taken off the top of my head. The one tyre per meeting caused problems with accusations being made suggesting that some riders were swapping tyres (Mitch Shirra recounts a story in an interview) and referees being called down to the pits to intervene thus holding up proceedings. Thankfully common sense did begin to prevail but there were problems initially and supporters were left shaking their heads sometimes but I agree that most fans are only really interested in the non technical rules...I was just highlighting past issues that undermined the smooth running of some meetings during this period.
  24. The C word ( chaos )

    When I last saw a rule book...and that's years ago now...much of it was filled with technical rulings aimed at the machinery and what was deemed legal or what wasn't. Forgot the number of meetings I was present at when protests went in about tyres, size of carbs, engines and silencers for example which held up proceedings or even resulted in results being altered after the event. Personally I was never interested in the machinery/technical side of the sport only the racing and arguments over a 'used' or 'new' edge on a tyre grew tiresome. Obviously with any motorised sport there has to be rules governing the machinery whether two or four wheeled but as bikes became more sophisticated I guess more potential loopholes needed to be closed.